East Wood Leeds: Residents joy as over £100,000 raised to save Otley woodland set to be turned to timber

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A fundraiser to buy a community woodland in Leeds has met its goal after a philanthropist stepped in with a last-minute loan.

Nearly 1,500 people have donated a huge £133,000 for the purchase of East Wood near Otley, which was put up for sale in February by Yorkshire estate agent Dacre, Son and Hartley.

As neighbourhood groups heard of the sale they quickly launched a campaign to save it from being used as timber, and as the deadline neared members said they were "blown away" by the community response. The Friends of East Wood, made up of local groups, has now announced that the offer to buy the woodland, known as Weston Woods locally, has been accepted.

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"The woodland will now be accessible to the community in perpetuity, held by Menston Area Nature Trust," they said. "We have been blown away by the incredible response to our campaign, with close to 1,500 people donating and raising a whopping £133,000 to date. This is just amazing and is a testament to our fabulous community and their connection to this wonderful area of accessible greenspace."

Weston Woods, OtleyWeston Woods, Otley
Weston Woods, Otley

The sale has been largely helped with a philanthropic loan from environmental campaigner Julia Davies of We Have The Power, and the group has extended their "huge and heartfelt" thanks.

"Land often goes for far more than the guide price, but we didn’t want to show our hand too publicly before we threw our cap in the ring," they said. "We’ll need to pay Julia back so that she can offer other groups the same financial support. So we still need your help."

To donate to the fundraiser visit Crowdfunder.

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